From outsider to favourite

Paul van Gerven
Leestijd: 5 minuten

The industrialization of EUV lithography began in 1997, but it wasn’t until after the turn of the century that ASML definitively threw its hat into the ring.

By the early 1990s, several research groups had conclusively demonstrated that EUV light was suitable for burning images into a resist. But those images weren’t razor-sharp. The next question was: what resolution can you achieve using EUV? And what are all the stops you’ll have to pull out to get there?

In the Netherlands, Fred Bijkerk continued his research, but the Americans were the first to get a large, organized effort underway. In 1994 Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories and Bell Labs started the US National EUV Lithography Program, funded by the Department of Energy. At the helm stood an expat Dutchman: Frits Zernike Jr, son of the Nobel Prize winner. Frits Sr derived mathematical equations for lens aberrations that every lithographer dreams of.

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